FORT DEVENS, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The 401st Engineer Company Army Reserve said goodbye to their families as they get ready to deploy to the Middle East.
"Because we had a year to work together before the deployment, we're that much stronger of a family and as a unit," said 1st Lt. Aaron Salter, the company's commander.
The 120 members of the unit were given a special send-off ceremony at Fort Devens on Sunday. They come from all over New England, and from as far away as New York and New Jersey.
Moms like Bunnie Kruetar said goodbye to their sons.
"We just want him to come home safe," she said.
"You worry, but I know he's made the right decision and he's gonna do the right thing," said father Frank Kruetar.
"I've been ready for a while," said Matthew Mitcheroney, who was one of the soldiers being sent off. "I've already realized I'm going. I just gotta understand everyone has to do [it]. It's what you signed up to do."
Families like the Bergers said goodbye to their moms.
"He does all the cooking. He'll be fine in the food department," said SPC Mary Berger of her husband. That's why I keep him. The house will be a lot cleaner.""
But, she said, "I'm gonna miss these guys a whole lot."
The details of the unit's mission and how long they will deploy are classified, but all the family, friends and co-workers here are hoping and praying for the soldiers' safe return.
Even the commander of the unit had mom and dad here for support.
"It's more important to me than anything; what reflects best on his character. I know he's hard working, but it's how people feel about him is what makes him a man," said Richard Salter, Aaron's father.
Salter's mother was also present for the sendoff.
"I'm very proud of him and I admire his patriotism and his feelings or his country and following through with it," said Suzanne.
They're another group of citizens defending the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
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